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Old 12-11-2011, 20:29   #31
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They do specify the cloth if you ask. I have no idea what their stock sails are like, but the custom ones are solid in my view. Much more solid than our last, locally built sail. I'd prefer to support local craftsmen, but sometimes the cost isn't practical.
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Old 12-11-2011, 23:07   #32
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Re: Rolly Tasker Sails

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Originally Posted by engele View Post
They do specify the cloth if you ask. I have no idea what their stock sails are like, but the custom ones are solid in my view. Much more solid than our last, locally built sail. I'd prefer to support local craftsmen, but sometimes the cost isn't practical.
You're comparing apples to oranges. Good lofts do not use seconds and other manufacturer cloth rejects without telling their clients. Good lofts do not have to be asked to specify what cloth will be used. Good lofts don't force you to wire funds, thus preventing you from having recourse through a credit card company if the sail is not up to expectation.

If we were using factory seconds, we could match or beat Tasker prices. But not only do we only use first quality cloth, but our production loft does acceptance testing to insure the cloth meets specification.

You don't have any interaction with their designer unless you speak Thai. Having some conversation with the person doing the sail design is quite beneficial. It's not uncommon for us to make a couple of design changes after sharing details of a proposed design with a customer. For instance, we discover that we need to make the genoa clew quite high so the sail will sheet properly. A customer may choose a different percentage of LP or know that he or she needs to extend the track forward.

If you're buying sails on the internet, one of the clues that you won't be getting a particularly well designed sail is contained in the measurement worksheets. For instance if the genoa track locations aren't well documented (preferably with vertical and horizontal measurements), there is absolutely no assurance of optimal sheeting angle. Sheer measurements (relative to water) can be used to determine the vertical distance between the tracks and the tack (drum height).

If you're buying a mainsail, one of the most critical design decisions is luff curve. If you're not required to supply mast bend information, a designer cannot do a proper job. We have videos and detailed instructions that help our customers get the right measurements recorded. If backstay clearance information isn't supplied, it's impossible to design a decent amount of roach into the sail. One thing we see over and over again with sails from suppliers that don't care enough about their products to do a decent design job, is shapeless white triangles. The problem with shapeless white triangles is you don't have any real range of trim control.

We recently spoke with a cruiser who was replacing his two year old sails. While they looked quite well made and had lots of pretty handwork, when they actually saw some use, he found that the bitterness of poor quality outlasts the sweetness of a cheap price.
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Old 13-11-2011, 18:28   #33
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Re: Rolly Tasker Sails

I will second Islandplanet's comments. As I've said in other contexts, you tend to get what you pay for.

There are only 3 manufacturers of dacron sailcloth in the world: Bainbridge, Challenge and North. If there are others, I'm not aware of them. You need to make sure that your sail is made of first run "A" quality crosscut dacron, whatever the source. Nothing else will last as long. You need sails with the proper weight: too light and they blow out earlier, too heavy and they are difficult to handle. Heavier is more expensive. You have to specify "hand" (the stiffness of the sail) A medium hand is probably best for cruising sails. In the case of a Genoa, is the luff cover rope or foam? The latter is preferable. Is the U/V cover on the leech and foot sunbrella or treated dacron (e.g "weatherguard")? Sunbrella is preferable for tropical climates.

Quite apart from the design of the sail, you have to look at the quality of the components. My guess is that most of the large volume sailmakers have CAD computer programs that will design a decently shaped sail for most popular sailboat models. Where the low cost manufacturers screw you is in the components.
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Old 13-11-2011, 20:53   #34
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Re: Rolly Tasker Sails

Curmudgeon is on the right track however I want to point out that Bainbridge and North do not manufacture cloth. They buy basically buy the raw goods and ship them to a plant that does the finishing. North makes it a point to be very secretive and not publish data so informed consumers can compare specs between their cloth and other suppliers.

Challenge on the other hand is quite forthcoming - http://islandplanetsails.com/resources/8_77.pdf

We prefer using Challenge Marblehead and their companion line with high aspect orientation called Fiber 104 for premium cruising sails. We used to use a lot of Bainbridge HSX which was made in France but sadly that line of cloth was discontinued.

I prefer a foam luff over a rope luff for practical reasons. The rope tends to get wet and stay wet whereas closed cell foam doesn't. Customers should be aware that not all foam luffs are the same. We prefer a multi-strip foam luff over the more commonly used single piece method.

Curmudgeon is again correct in choosing a cloth with a medium or soft hand. The highly tempered racing Dacron is quite firm and racers love it, however our cruising customers won't tolerate the short life and handling characteristics.

While everyone has access to the same design software, you need a combination of the right inputs and someone who really understands how to get the most out of the software. For instance there's multiple ways to deal with luff sag on a genoa and the best results often come from "tricking" the software by leaving the sag at zero and changing other inputs.

For anything short of an America's Cup campaign, you don't need to worry which software package is being used. It's all a matter of having the right data and a talented designer. As I outlined in my previous post, many of the web based suppliers do not gather enough information on their measurement worksheets to assure a quality design. Reference shapeless white triangle.

Be sure to ask questions about what hardware is being used as Curmudgeon mentions. All luff slides, luff boxes, clam cleats, and other sail hardware have part numbers. You can look them up on the internet to see what you're getting and make sure it's not plastic junk. We use a lot of CL-241's and CL-258's for leech and footline cleats. Everything is on the web.

Another question you should be asking is how large are the patches and what kind are they. Radial patches are more costly however it allows the cloth to be better oriented to the loads radiating from the corners. Ask the sailmaker for some pictures or design drawings so you can see what the patches look like. We just re-designed and improved our patches and I don't have an actual sail photo to share but here's one showing our previous iteration of patches on this Swan 40 - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater

The new patch design we're using is a bit wider at the base and larger overall.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
I will second Islandplanet's comments. As I've said in other contexts, you tend to get what you pay for.

There are only 3 manufacturers of dacron sailcloth in the world: Bainbridge, Challenge and North. If there are others, I'm not aware of them. You need to make sure that your sail is made of first run "A" quality crosscut dacron, whatever the source. Nothing else will last as long. You need sails with the proper weight: too light and they blow out earlier, too heavy and they are difficult to handle. Heavier is more expensive. You have to specify "hand" (the stiffness of the sail) A medium hand is probably best for cruising sails. In the case of a Genoa, is the luff cover rope or foam? The latter is preferable. Is the U/V cover on the leech and foot sunbrella or treated dacron (e.g "weatherguard")? Sunbrella is preferable for tropical climates.

Quite apart from the design of the sail, you have to look at the quality of the components. My guess is that most of the large volume sailmakers have CAD computer programs that will design a decently shaped sail for most popular sailboat models. Where the low cost manufacturers screw you is in the components.
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Old 17-11-2011, 12:53   #35
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Re: Rolly Tasker Sails

We just received our main. We did specify our luff hardware (which they changed for no charge including batten receptacles and 10mm threaded low friction articulating slides). The components they would have otherwise shipped would not have been appropriate for our boat with a full batten main. The details all look fine. There are a few loose stitches on some of the areas that have several layers of cloth. Our radial reinforcement patches look fine. They are larger than the ones on our old main and have more layers of cloth to them. There are no sewn rings, but the hydraulically pressed ones do have webbing reinforcement and leather chafe protection (also specified when we ordered). The luff has stainless pressed rings/grommets. I can't tell what they are, but they are the toughest grommets I have ever seen and they have more of a flat profile (like the hydraulic rings). The ends of the batten pockets lace shut instead of velcro. They do look like a place that may over time see wear. All of the hardware is webbed on (by request). The headboard is aluminum and has webbing reinforcement. We ordered it with triple reefs and a cunningham. It is triple stitched throughout, though the margins may be smaller than what you would get at a custom loft. Same goes for the leather chafe gear, at a local loft I would think the leather patches might be bigger. Of the two sails, I like the genny better from appearance, but both are truly still of outwardly good quality. The true test for the main will of course be sailing and not looking at it laid out on the floor. The difficulty in judging quality in that regard will be that we went to full battens, added a little roach, and the sail is just newer. Our old sails were tired. These should be better all around. If anyone is interested I can post pictures of the good and the bad.
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Old 17-11-2011, 15:22   #36
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Re: Rolly Tasker Sails

One problem with pressed rings in a mainsail is that the tack may not go through the jaws of the gooseneck fitting. I see a lot of people resorting to shackles or lashings. We would never use a pressed fitting on a true cruising sail. Pressed rings are a time and labor saving measure. We'll use them on boats that are casually sailed in protected waters. For larger furling genoas we'll use Spectra webbing loops at tack and head.

Sounds like the seams on that main are narrower than 38mm from your description.

What we do to keep track of sail shape is take pictures while sailing closehauled in 10-12 knots. Shoot vertically looking up from about the middle of the sail. Note depth and position of draft. Reshoot same picture after season of use and compare.

Cheap cloth or seconds will become quite obvious as the draft will quickly move aft and the depth increases.

We know of one owner who only got one day of sailing out of a cheap main. It was on San Francisco Bay and the guy had a cat. By the end of the day it was basically dumpster time for the sail.
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Old 17-11-2011, 15:37   #37
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Re: Rolly Tasker Sails

I will take a look. We have two draft strips on the main that should help us evaluate the change if any. Our old sail (and the other ones we were quoted) all had hydraulic rings at the tack, though a spectra loop sounds great. I don't believe we will have any issues with the tack ring. Our old main had a sewn in brass ring and sleeve at the tack, and sewn rings along the luff as well. Spendy when new. I imagine the full battens should help the sail wear better than if it did not have them. Overall (and until something goes wrong) I am quite pleased. I did get several quotes and for what we paid I could replace this main three times and still come out ahead of buying a single very very nice, very well built, and very expensive local sail. We paid less for our sails than Sailrite's DIY kits that don't have the features we added. I will hope for the best. This was the only option for new sails for us.
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Old 17-11-2011, 15:51   #38
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Re: Rolly Tasker Sails

Good luck. I hope your new sails last.
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Old 17-11-2011, 16:03   #39
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Re: Rolly Tasker Sails

Enegele,

If you're not doing much sailing you'll get some life out of the sails. If you sail a lot, then it's luck of the draw. It's just a matter of whether you "won the cloth lottery" and got decent cloth or not. Not every sail built by Tasker is made with seconds. There's only so much they can procure in the way of rejects for .20 to .30 on the dollar. Some of their sails do last.

As for paying less than a Sailrite kit, I'm not surprised. I've never priced out a cruising sail that way, but I know that for example, we can supply a small boat sail like a Catalina 22 or something for less than the cost of a kit. Those kits aren't cheap but it's a great way for people to learn something and have a rewarding project.

We generally recommend against fully battened sails on conventionally rigged cruising boats. There are a lot of drawbacks and additional costs involved. I've got a multi-page article I send people that are considering fully battened sails. Usually we build with the top one or two battens full and the others partial. The partials are actually pretty long, a bit over half the chord length so you don't get what I call "hinge effect" wear. Be sure and watch for chafe. The batten pockets on your sail may or may not be well reinforced. Buy some self adhesive insignia cloth and make some spreader patches. I keep a roll of that on hand on my boat as people are often needing some.

I should note that we make more money selling full batten sails so we'll only put a limited amount of effort into dissuading people.
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Old 17-11-2011, 18:13   #40
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Re: Rolly Tasker Sails

We will be cruising full time in January. If there are any issues with the sails, I'll report back here, though based on my personal experience and talking with friends who have had RT sails, I don't expect any problems. The cloth is supposed to be Challenge Marblehead, and if it were a factory second I would expect a factory second in that grade to be as good as a factory first in High Modulus. Though this thread is the first time I have ever heard them accused of using seconds, and is the only reference I could find online. Unless it falls apart, or the shape is terrible (which hasn't happened to anyone I know), and seems unlikely, I will be happy. As always I like hearing about other experiences, and Sophias is not heartening, but several others who have commented positively on here I have a great deal of respect for (Maine Sail's posts are always informative). In any case I can only speak to my own experience, and so far so good.
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Old 17-11-2011, 18:20   #41
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Re: Rolly Tasker Sails

IslandPlanet. Thanks for the notes on the battens. I've read something from you about battens. We went back and forth trying to decide, and because I haven't ever had them I thought it was worth trying. I really do hate the "hinge effect" as you call it. My wife has done some sail repair, and she can repair the batten pockets as we need to. I expect they will add some maintenance, and we will need some spreader patches. We have a few yards of self stick UV dacron (Insignia I think) on board for just this purpose. One reason not to go two full and two partial on this sail was precisely because of some of the issues discussed in this thread. I wouldn't really have control over how far the partial battens reached into the sail without a local sailmaker involved. This was a good compromise.
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Old 17-11-2011, 18:43   #42
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Re: Rolly Tasker Sails

Marblehead is great cloth and we use lots of it. Shape of the sail won't be "terrible" but unless they had mast bend data from you, the luff curve is guesswork and the sail will be fairly flat so okay in heavy air.

I've been to the Tasker loft and seen the rolls of seconds so it's not hearsay. In case anyone is wondering, the manufacturers stamp the inside of the cardboard the cloth comes on with a red stamp that says "seconds" so it's not like you need to know anything about the cloth to determine.

You don't need a "local sailmaker" to be able to specify details about your sail. For example, we send our customers computer renderings and lots of details. If anything, we overload them with info. Some customers like to be involved - Ceilydh Sets Sail: A new sail
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Old 17-11-2011, 20:21   #43
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Re: Rolly Tasker Sails

Speaking to a local sailmaker about Rolly Tasker sails from Phuket, he suggested that the main advantage that Tasker has is that labour cost is significantly cheaper there (Thailand) than here (Australia). He estimated that a daily wage there might be an hourly wage here... and building sails is relatively labour intensive.

I should say that although we are on a budget, we have bought all our new sails from a local sailmaker - the same one, actually, and building a good relationship with him - having him "on call" to come and assist us, is worth the extra cost, I think.
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Old 19-11-2011, 17:40   #44
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Re: Rolly Tasker Sails

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Originally Posted by islandplanet View Post


We generally recommend against fully battened sails on conventionally rigged cruising boats. There are a lot of drawbacks and additional costs involved. I've got a multi-page article I send people that are considering fully battened sails. Usually we build with the top one or two battens full and the others partial. The partials are actually pretty long, a bit over half the chord length so you don't get what I call "hinge effect" wear. Be sure and watch for chafe. The batten pockets on your sail may or may not be well reinforced. Buy some self adhesive insignia cloth and make some spreader patches. I keep a roll of that on hand on my boat as people are often needing some.

I should note that we make more money selling full batten sails so we'll only put a limited amount of effort into dissuading people.
Hi Islandplanet

Would you be able to post or pm this article you mention above? Interested.

M
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Old 19-11-2011, 20:05   #45
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Re: Rolly Tasker Sails

Just so you know, Rolly Tasker sails have been around in Australia for many decades and know how to build sails, just because they are building cheaper sails in Thailand taking advantage of cheaper labor does not necessarily make them junk, North sails builds in Sri Lanka, unfortunatly its the way of business these days.
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